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Father Says He Lost Child Custody Because He is Agnostic

A father from Indiana claims that he recently lost joint child custody of his three children because of his agnostic religious beliefs. The divorced father says that he formerly practiced Christianity but then became an Agnostic. The man is seeking to enforce his rights as a father by appealing the child custody decision which has been deemed questionable.

Prior to the decision, the man from Indianapolis, Indiana had shared equal custody of his three children with his former wife. The father's visitation time was reduced to four hours every week, and he now gets every other weekend with his children. During November a judge handed down a decision that gave the man's former wife full custody of the children. The man's former wife is a practicing Christian, and the man believes the new custody decision was based on his agnostic beliefs.

The father says that he believes his agnostic beliefs were a factor in the judge's decision because the judge said, "the father did not participate in the same religious training as the mother [and the] father was agnostic." The ruling also said that the former couple communicated better when both parents were Christians. The father said that his religion was addressed multiple times during family court hearing, and he believes there are few other points of contention on the order.

The father explained that he has never imposed his religious views on his children, and he explained that his children still attend a Christian daycare. He said that when there was joint custody he would take his children to church functions and the children attended church with his mother. In addition to the appeal, the man plans to protest for his rights as a father outside of the courthouse where the child custody decision was made.

Source: Daily Mail, "Divorced Father Loses Custody of His Three Children 'Because He's Agnostic'," 12/2/10

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